Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ksmattfish, Aug 24, 2004.
Ilford BW division shutting down.
Here's a thread at photo.net
Maybe there's still hope?
Hmmmm, "...a view to sell it as a going concern", that's encouraging. The Swiss division is also still doing well. A lot depends on who is going to buy this division.
Reason to be bummed, yet no cause for panic. Yet. :?
Damn, thats too bad.
I always use Ilford paper, and I like HP5 film as well.
Things look bleaker and bleaker for film :cry:
Ilford was the big company that really seemed to support traditional BW photography, that's why I find it so depressing. I had hoped they would hold out until Fuji and Kodak abandoned us, and then be able to survive as the only major player.
I'm sure that someone will come along and buy up their machines and formulas. Possibly a smaller operation would be more profitable. And if it doesn't stay in England, for sure someone will move it to Eastern Europe or China (cheaper labor) and keep cranking out the emulsions we love. Hopefully they will be as attentive to quality.
Kodak and Fuji are still researching film technology, although I don't know if it's BW film. We may find that we are better off being supplied by smaller companies, who can respond to their customers' needs better.
I guess what really bothers me is that digital is no where near achieving the resolution and dynamic range of medium and large format BW film, and I'm already losing film choices. Rather than letting digital eclipse film photography "naturally" when it is ready to do so (when it can match or excede the quality), the manufacturers have pushed it so hard so that they can make money that we have no choices.
Pre 1990 professional wedding photographers pretty much used only medium format film. 35mm was looked down upon as not high enough in quality. It's amazing to me that digital has been able to dominate the wedding photog biz even though it's not yet as good as 35mm (there is that top-o-line full 35mm sized sensor DSLR from Canon that probably has the resolution of 35mm, but still not the dynamic range of slide film, let alone color neg or BW film). The bar has been lowered in the name of increased profits.
Oh well, progress marches on. I'm confident that BW films, chemistry, and papers will be available for the rest of my life time, but I may be getting them in the arts supply store instead of the photo lab.
Digital has been pushed hard, yes, but it's also been a fairly easy sell, and for the same reasons fast food will be around as long as there are potatoes ready to be dropped in the hot fat: people like instant results. Polaroid exploded in the early 70's with Time Zero film, but digital kicked even Polaroid's ass. (I'm amazed Polaroid still has a niche, frankly. Yeah, they went bankrupt and things looked grim, but somehow they cling to their fragmented market. Ask yourself how they've managed it.)
"The bar has been lowered in the name of increased profits" well babe, if we weren't buying these crappy low-end digicams they'd quit producing them. Bully for all these digi producers if they can make a buck because the masses apparently aren't bothered by digital junk - there's a PS plug in to fix most of that, surely.
And for the higher-end digicams, apparently the cool new thing in wedding photography is to be able to give a little photo show during the reception of the events that took place just 3 hours earlier. Again, people seem to like it and want it - so it is going to be offered. Can we blame fundamental capitalism just because it seems to prey on human foibles?
I would rather think this Ilford division was more a victim of poor planning and mismanagement during admittedly tough times for film producers, than as an indicator of the entire industry going down the tubes. I'm not ready to give up the ghost just yet. But I will still join you in a hearty Bah! Humbuh! till the outcome is clear. I'm waiting for the next big merger. :roll:
I agree that digital isn't the same quality as film, and I dont think we will have affordable cameras in the near future that are.And besides that, darkroom is quite an experience, its a craft to get the print just so, after taking the picture and fiddling with the development.
And its a lot of fun on top of that.I am just beginning in photography, but I will be sorry to see film end and be replaced by digital.
Sure, its quick,practical and cost effective, but I cant help feeling that you loose more than resolution when you go digital.
You loose the entire trip of making a picture, with your own hands ( and your own enlarger and your own chemicals )
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